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Living Well

Go Green! Learning Why & How to Incorporate More Leafy Greens into Your Day



There are many benefits of finding ways to sneak more green foods into your day. Nearly every process our bodies carry out rely on proper nutrient levels. These processes include water balance, enzyme function, nerve signaling, digestion, and metabolism. As much as possible, I recommend getting these nutrients your body needs from whole foods, especially greens and here’s why:

  • Leafy greens boost our energy levels naturally. They add a little pep in your step, especially in the morning and also during those pesky afternoon slumps.
  • Leafy greens are full of vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting phytochemicals. They are rich in fiber, an important nutrient for weight loss and maintenance because it keeps you feeling full and helps control your hunger.
  • Leafy greens support connective tissues (such as skin, tendons, ligaments and cartilage that aid in joint flexibility), may reduce your risk of arthritis, and keeps your skin and hair healthy and beautiful.
  • Leafy greens can lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and help to temper blood-sugar swings by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates into your bloodstream after meals. This lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
  • Leafy greens assists our natural melatonin production so that you fall asleep quickly and sleep soundly throughout the night.

Now that we know why to eat them, let’s talk about ways to easily incorporate leafy greens on the daily. There is a trick to get copious amounts of nutrients with little effort. Maybe you need a quick breakfast before sunrise yoga, or an energy-replenishing lunch you can eat on your way from the gym to a meeting.

The answer, green smoothies! They’re a quick and easy way to get large amounts of leafy greens (and fruits) into your daily diet and provide your body with all the plant-based nutrients it craves. It’s a pretty simple and tasty combo: leafy greens + fruit + liquid-base… and maybe some fancy super-food booster toppings for additional flavor and health enhancing benefits.

Essentially, it’s a meal in a glass- high-quality liquid nutrition that gives you the nutrient density you need in a convenient, portable, delicious package. You’ll still want to eat a variety of foods to get the wide range of nutrients your body needs, but the smoothie outline that follows will give you an excellent start.

Let the green adventures begin!

The beginner-friendly formula below is how GreenLid makes most of their delicious green smoothie recipes. Now all you need is a blender, an open mind, and a willingness to drink your veggies! It takes less than 5 minutes to make a green smoothie (including clean up!) and they’re super easy to take on the go especially when you prep ahead.


  1. Blend liquid base, leafy greens, & fruit together first
  2. Add ice (~1 cup) & blend again
  3. Choose a super-food booster or topping (~pinch or sprinkle; a little goes a long way)

Green smoothie blending tips:

  • Put 2 cups of liquid base into a blender, add 2 cups of tightly packed leafy greens and blend until all leafy chunks are gone.
  • Add 1-3 cups of fruit and blend again until smooth. For best texture and consistency, be sure to include a binder such as a creamy fruit like a banana, avocado, or mango.
  • Add 1 cup of ice and blend again (more ice will create a thinner smoothie)
  • Pour into a mason jar (or cute cup of your choice).
  • Gulp or sip like a rawkstar! …um, could I be any cheesier?

Print this Superstar Smoothie Formula by GreenLid and put it to your fridge so you’ll remember to blend, sip, and be nourished.

Identifying nutrient deficiencies

I do numerous nutrition consultations with clients on a weekly basis and although every individual has a unique reason for wanting to spur a nutritional change (including eating more leafy greens), there are generally a few common signs and symptoms that indicate their current diet isn’t working like it should.

Even if you do eat well, other factors such as age, certain health conditions and medications can impact your body’s ability to absorb the nutrients in your food. Nutrient deficiencies can be devious, too. Unless you are seriously deficient for some time, you may not notice any symptoms at all, leading you to falsely believe that your body is getting all the nutrition you need.

More often, however, such deficiencies do cause symptoms, which can range from minor to severe, like constant cravings, skin maladies, trouble focusing, coordination/balance difficulties, bloating and gas. Unless you know what to look for, you’re likely to mistake the signs for something else. If you suspect your health and digestion might not be functioning optimally, consider reaching out to a qualified professional. Our integrative nutrition coaching at Studiomix focuses on realistic, individualized eating strategies that will help you get results. Feel free to schedule an appointment today or email me directly at

By improving the function of the digestive system, all other body systems immediately begin to benefit. Here are just a few ways repairing the digestive system aids other body systems.


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Living Well

Pushing Past Plateaus & Building Self-Awareness

Pushing Past Plateaus

With so much emphasis on perfection, winning, and holding ourselves to high expectations, we often forget the process of what it takes to meet our goals. What happens when you don’t preform the way you would like? Learn how to set goals and intentions for that moment and grow from your performance instead of being self-critical. Be present, build self-awareness, positive self-dialogue, and develop consistency to push past plateaus.

Winning, meeting one’s goals, and exceeding expectations feels great. But what happens when all the effort, energy, and thought you put in does not change anything and everything feels or stays the same? Essentially, you’ve hit a plateau.

Plateau is a state of little to no change after some time investment and/or activity. To push past a plateau, a good start is to build self-awareness. Who we are, how we feel about ourselves, how we interact with others, and how we want to present ourselves are all based in our values, belief systems, and assumptions. Here are three simple techniques to take your values, belief systems, and assumptions beyond the plateau:

  • Intentionally be kind to yourself; the negative self-critique holds us down.
  • Fully accept your performance; always find something to learn or take away.
  • Appreciate yourself without any criticism, comparison, or doubt.

The mind cannot function without the body and the body does not function without the mind (sounds like something from the Matrix movie). How we feel about ourselves and the story we tell ourselves is how we interact or react to the external world. We are always reacting to every stimulus day-to-day, hour-to-hour, and minute-to-minute.

If you always do what you have always done, you always will get what you have always gotten. We have to take a fresh approach when we plateau, it is not about training harder or smarter; it is neither and it is both. Building awareness allows us to slow-down, speed-up, stop, create space for creativity, be kind or tough when needed, change our negative dialogue to positive and productive, and be in the moment.

No one ever says give me more stress and negativity. People seldom flourish in that environment, so why do we do it to ourselves? Consistency in performance comes from creating an inner environment that is aware, rich with self worth, self-value, self-kindness, self motivation, and focused on learning and improving.

Here are two mental practices anyone can start to do immediately:

  1. When brushing your teeth, say one to three things that you appreciate about yourself.
  2. Before every practice, workout, or performance set intent (goal) and post-performance acknowledge (reflection) on what you learned that will help you to grow.

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Living Well

Finding the Calm


By Dr. Kirsten Hill, D.C. of Dance With Life Chiropractic

You probably have had a “nerve-wracking” experience at some point. Maybe you can remember an intense moment of being “nervous,” or having someone “get on your nerves.” Interestingly, when you feel stressed, exhausted or tense, it’s a sign that your nervous system is out of balance. Operating in this state (sympathetic nervous system) your physiology is on alert, ready for flight or flight.

The good news is that when cared for properly, your nervous system is a powerful network for transmitting energy and healing. To restore balance, there are many ways to return your body to a calm (parasympathetic) state facilitating whole body health and emotional well-being.

Let’s take a look at the three categories of input that influence your nervous system: physical, mental/emotional, and chemical. Learning how to nurture yourself with positive actions and reduce negative stress in each of these categories, you’ll greatly enhance your nervous system’s natural capacity for wholeness and vitality. In the physical realm, daily movement and structured classes such as workouts at Studiomix guide you in the right direction toward keeping your nervous system active and effectively communicating with the rest of your body.

If you have chronic or ongoing physical discomfort, you may need to incorporate active stretching, more rest, or some professional hands-on care. One tension-relieving tip you can practice right away is propping your phone or reading material up at eye level, instead of looking down causing poor spinal alignment.

When it comes to your emotional state, how can you reduce anxiety and promote happiness? Neuroscience shows that as humans evolved, our brains developed a negativity bias, to help us recognize and avoid potential danger. Thus, it’s naturally easier to imprint unpleasant memories. But wait! You can re-train your brain to focus on the positive in life. Practice this:  when you find something enjoyable, take time to savor it and fully engage your senses. Spend time reflecting on your blessings. Soon, your brain will become oriented toward joy and pleasure.

Last but not least, let’s consider the chemical realm. All those endorphins you experience after a workout – good stuff, eh? On the other hand, our bodies work hard daily to clear out toxins from the environment (and sometimes, from our diet). Inflammation is a key component of pain and many diseases, even depression. Omega-3 fish oils or vegetarian sources of omega-3 fatty acids such as flax and chia seed are recommended to decrease inflammation. Fresh fruits and veggies also do a splendid job of nourishing your cells and clearing out free radicals.

So, if you want happy nerves, you just need the right mix of physical, mental-emotional, and chemical ingredients. Rest assured that your body is remarkably good at self-healing, when your nervous system is balanced.

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Living Well

Recovering from Deconditioning Syndrome


By: Dr. Lonna Denny, DC

Deconditioning syndrome is a term used to describe the series of physical and emotional events following an injury or psychological trauma that causes you to stop exercising. I think at one time or another every athlete has experienced this cascade of events. You get an injury which leads to time that you have to rest, repair, and recover. This period of time may be a couple of weeks at minimum or last a year plus. During this time you are unable to do your regular workout and you’re also dealing with the pain and the loss of mobility this injury has caused. You gain weight, lose muscle tone, and possibly even feel depressed.

A few years ago I tore my ACL in a sparring competition and had to have it repaired. The subsequent surgery left my body weak and stressed out. It was amazing how after years of being an athlete and in great shape, deconditioning syndrome set in.  I was losing muscle I had worked hard to build and the white noise of pain was constantly in the background of my mind. Being in constant discomfort after surgery caused my personality to change, and not for the better. Most people are aware that stress in the mind causes ailments in the body. Less recognized is that physical pain sets a constant background of stress for the mind. It is a vicious feedback loop. That first three months after surgery was one of the most mentally challenging times I have experienced. It taught me compassion for my patients experiencing deconditioning syndrome and those that have been dealing with chronic pain for years.  Over time we have developed a strategy for helping patients get out of this syndrome. Here are a few steps:

  • Get off the pain meds as soon as you can. The most commonly prescribed Vicodin and other opiate based prescriptions will make you constipated, lethargic, and are highly addictive.
  • Make an exercise plan based around your injury. For example one of my patients was having bunion surgery which would leave her unable to walk for weeks. We made a plan for core workouts and arm workouts she could do non-weight bearing.
  • Accelerate your healing process and decrease your pain levels with chiropractic care and acupuncture. After my knee surgery, my back hurt from limping around in a cast and all of that bed rest. My chiropractor restored mobility to my back and hips through adjusting the spine. He also used a cold laser on my knee which literally over night reduced the bruising and inflammation from surgery. A few weeks later I saw an acupuncturist whose treatment reduced the tension and pressure in the knee. These two healers got me back on my feet and decreased the pain so I could get back to my life. Worth every penny.
  • Lastly, be aware that you are going to deal with deconditioning syndrome on some level after a serious injury or trauma. Make a plan, get help, and most of all, be patient with yourself. This is a transitory state, but how long you stay there is up to you.

Injury isn’t ever ideal or expected, but it can provide you with an opportunity to reflect and plan for how you’ll come back stronger. As with any stress, the right mindset can make a huge difference in the healing process and beyond.

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Living Well

Soak in Aromatherapy



Essential oil production is much like wine making: an art as well as a science.

An essential oil is a liquid that is distilled (most frequently by steam or water) from the leaves, stems, bark, roots, or other elements of a plant. Essential oils, contrary to the use of the word “oil” are not really oily feeling at all and contain the true living essence of the plant it was derived from. EO’s are highly concentrated and a little goes a very long way!

The chemical composition and aroma of essential oils can provide valuable psychological and physical therapeutic benefits. These benefits are usually achieved through methods of inhalation and application of the diluted oil to the skin. Simply through inhalation the therapeutic benefit begins.

​When you breath in, the olfactory system is engaged and sends direct messages to your central nervous system offering a diverse and wide variety of health benefits depending on the essential oil inhaled. In addition, when diluted and applied to the skin, these living extracts are absorbed and affect the nervous system of the body.​

Perfumes,​ ​as well as ​many household and beauty products,​ are primarily​ scented with artificially created fragrances that contain synthetic substances. Please note that these fragrances do not have living essence so they do not offer any of the therapeutic benefits that essential oils can. Always read the label and know what you’re breathing in.​

Here are just a few of the many healing properties offered by essential oils:

ANALGESIC – reducing the sensation of pain (pain reliever)

ANTIBIOTIC – preventing growth of bacteria (antibacterial)

ANTI-FUNGAL – preventing the growth of fungus

ANTI-INFECTIOUS – preventing infection

ANTISEPTIC – killing or preventing micro organism growth

ANTI-VIRAL – preventing the spread of viruses

BALSAMIC –  soothing sore, scratchy throats

CICATRISIV – promoting formation of scar tissue

DEPURATIVE (DETOXIFY) – detoxifying, cleansing and purifying blood and organs

DIURETIC – Promoting the removal of excess liquid in the body through urination

EXPECTORANT – breaking up mucus

IMMUNOSTIMULANT – stimulating immunity

PECTORAL – benefiting the respiratory system

SEDATIVE – calming the mind and reducing mental excitement

SOPOFORIC – inducing sleep and relieving insomnia

STIMULANT – awakening bodily functions

STOMACHIC – aiding digestion and acting as a gastric tonic

TONIC – restoring and invigorating the body

VERMIFUGE – expelling intestinal worms (anti-parasitic)

Bringing essential oils into your daily routine is really quite simple. Explore to learn more about the therapeutic benefits of aromatherapy and essential oils.

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